WWW Wednesday (November 30th)

It’s been 3 weeks or so since my last WWW post so it’s nice to be taking part this week.

WWW WednesdayThis weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

I’m reading My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood

I was sent this by the publishers a couple of months ago and I’ve seen it on several other bloggers blogs with positive feedback.  It’s not published till January so have picked it up now in readiness.  It’s quite easy to get in to but it’s very sad (there is a better word than this, it just won’t come to mind) and has this sense of foreboding.

my-sisters-bonesThe blurb

Kate Rafter is a successful war reporter. She’s the strong one. The one who escaped Herne Bay and the memories it holds. Her sister Sally didn’t. Instead, she drinks.

But when their mother dies, Kate is forced to return to the old family home. And on her first night she is woken by a terrifying scream.

What secret has Kate stumbled upon?
And is she strong enough to uncover the truth . . . and make it out alive?


I recently read A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale

Loved this book! If you like historical novels in the vein of Sarah Waters, this one is for you!

a-place-called-winterThe blurb

A shy but privileged elder son, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence – until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest force him to abandon his wife and child and sign up for emigration to Canada.

Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war and madness that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before.

I also finished The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth by Katherine Woodfine

Good fun, full of daring capers and adventures that’s reminiscent of Nancy Drew.  Review here.

the-mystery-of-the-jewelled-mothThe blurb

THE HONOUR OF YOUR COMPANY IS REQUESTED AT
LORD BEAUCASTLE’S FANCY DRESS BALL.

Wonder at the puzzling disappearance of the Jewelled Moth! Marvel as our heroines, Sophie and Lil, don cunning disguises, mingle in high society and munch many cucumber sandwiches to solve this curious case! Applaud their bravery as they follow a trail of terrible secrets that leads straight to London’s most dangerous criminal mastermind, and could put their own lives at risk . . .

It will be the most thrilling event of the season!


 What’s up next? Thin Air by Michelle Paver

I’m waiting for this book to come in from my library.  I’m hoping it does soon as it’s our next book club read.  We’ve not read a ghost story as a group before so should be interesting.

thin-airThe blurb

The Himalayas, 1935.

Kangchenjunga. Third-highest peak on earth. Greatest killer of them all.

Five Englishmen set off from Darjeeling, determined to conquer the sacred summit. But courage can only take them so far – and the mountain is not their only foe.

As the wind dies, the dread grows. Mountain sickness. The horrors of extreme altitude. A past that will not stay buried.

And sometimes, the truth does not set you free.


Have you read any of my choices?

Do share what you’re reading and recommendations in the comments…

WWW Wednesday (November 9th)

WWW WednesdayThis weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

I’m reading A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale

This one is our next book club read and although I’m only a few chapters in, it’s off to a promising and interesting start.

a-place-called-winterThe blurb

A shy but privileged elder son, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence – until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest force him to abandon his wife and child and sign up for emigration to Canada.

Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war and madness that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before


I recently finished Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

In all honesty I was expecting something very different from this book to what it actually was.  From the movies and its reputation I expected a horror movie in a book and it was nothing like this, a little disappointing in that respect.

frankensteinThe blurb

The Uncensored 1818 Edition FRANKENSTEIN; OR, THE MODERN PROMETHEUS, a novel written by the English author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley about the young science student Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque but sentient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment.

 

 

 


 What’s up next? The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth by Katherine Woodfine

After finishing the first in the Sinclair’s mysteries which I really enjoyed, I picked this one up straight away whilst being in the mood but I put it aside to read Frankenstein over the Halloween weekend and then to read my book club book.  Looking forward to getting back to it.

the-mystery-of-the-jewelled-mothThe blurb

THE HONOUR OF YOUR COMPANY IS REQUESTED AT
LORD BEAUCASTLE’S FANCY DRESS BALL.

Wonder at the puzzling disappearance of the Jewelled Moth! Marvel as our heroines, Sophie and Lil, don cunning disguises, mingle in high society and munch many cucumber sandwiches to solve this curious case! Applaud their bravery as they follow a trail of terrible secrets that leads straight to London’s most dangerous criminal mastermind, and could put their own lives at risk . . .

It will be the most thrilling event of the season!


Have you read any of this week’s choices?

Do share what you’re reading and recommendations in the comments…

WWW Wednesday (October 19th)

WWW WednesdayThis weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

I’m reading Number 11 by Jonathan Coe

I’m not gonna lie I opened this book and saw the small black type and my heart sank but actually it’s really easy to get into and read despite the tiny type.  So far it’s the story of Rachel and Alison and their friendship since childhood set against significant historical or social events such as the Iraq war, and then later it incorporates I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.  Very cleverly plotted, it’s like a series of short stories in one.

number-11The blurb

This is a novel about the hundreds of tiny connections between the public and private worlds and how they affect us all.

It’s about the legacy of war and the end of innocence.

It’s about how comedy and politics are battling it out and comedy might have won.

It’s about how 140 characters can make fools of us all.

It’s about living in a city where bankers need cinemas in their basements and others need food banks down the street.

It is Jonathan Coe doing what he does best ­ – showing us how we live now.


I recently finished The Dinner by Herman Koch

This was my choice for our book club read who are meeting tonight to discuss, so I’ll catch up with your posts later than usual.  I felt this book had such promise but all in all I think it failed to deliver.  It ended up being more about one of the fathers than the children and what they’d done.  The idea of plotting it around courses was interesting but didn’t really enhance.

the-dinnerThe blurb

A summer’s evening in Amsterdam and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant. Between mouthfuls of food and over the delicate scraping of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of politeness – the banality of work, the triviality of holidays. But the empty words hide a terrible conflict and, with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened… Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. Together, the boys have committed a horrifying act, caught on camera, and their grainy images have been beamed into living rooms across the nation; despite a police manhunt, the boys remain unidentified – by everyone except their parents. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children and, as civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple shows just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.


 What’s up next? Undertow by Elizabeth Heathcote

I was given an ARC of this book when I went to the Headline Rooftop Book Club in April.  My daughter has read it and given me her thoughts so I’ll read it so that it’s another physical book read from the shelf.

undertowThe blurb

My husband’s lover. They said her death was a tragic accident. And I believed them . . . until now.

Carmen is happily married to Tom, a successful London lawyer and divorcé with three children. She is content to absorb the stresses of being a stepmother to teenagers and the stain of ‘second wife’. She knows she’ll always live in the shadow of another woman – not Tom’s first wife Laura, who is resolutely polite and determinedly respectable, but the lover that ended his first marriage: Zena. Zena who was shockingly beautiful. Zena who drowned swimming late one night.

But Carmen can overlook her husband’s dead mistress . . . until she starts to suspect that he might have been the person who killed her.


Have you read any of this week’s choices?

Do share what you’re reading and recommendations in the comments…


Share your bookish posts and news with #TalkoftheTown

Talk of the Town

WWW Wednesday (October 5th)

Hi all, this is my first WWW in a while (again!) looking forward to catching up with you, your blogs and books later 🙂

WWW WednesdayThis weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

I’m reading The Dinner by Herman Koch

This is my book club choice for this month and was recommended to me by my brother.  I’m hoping it pulls me out my book club reading slump as the last three have not been such great reads for me.

the-dinnerThe blurb

A summer’s evening in Amsterdam and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant. Between mouthfuls of food and over the delicate scraping of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of politeness – the banality of work, the triviality of holidays. But the empty words hide a terrible conflict and, with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened… Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. Together, the boys have committed a horrifying act, caught on camera, and their grainy images have been beamed into living rooms across the nation; despite a police manhunt, the boys remain unidentified – by everyone except their parents. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children and, as civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple shows just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.


I recently finished The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

I was really enjoying this book until a significant event happened which I didn’t like or approve of which really changed how I felt about what I was reading.  I rated the book 4* because it is a really good twisty thriller but I didn’t like any of the characters, have any empathy for them so really didn’t mind who ended up dead!

the-kind-worth-killing

The blurb

On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. But their game turns dark when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.”

From there, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they plot Miranda’s demise, but soon these co-conspirators are embroiled in a game of cat-and-mouse–one they both cannot survive–with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

I’ve also read Recipe for Life – The Autobiography by Mary Berry

If you’re a fan of the Great British Bake Off, Mary Berry or home cooking and baking in general then you’d probably enjoy this, as did I.  Interspersed with some of Mary’s recipes, we discover how Mary came to fame and be the well-loved household name she is now.  A heart-warming book with some very sad moments. Review here.

Recipe for LifeThe blurb

From the moment she came into the world – two weeks early, throwing her parents’ lives into disarray – Mary has gracefully but firmly done things her own way.

Born in 1935, in the city of Bath, Mary’s childhood was a curious mix of idyllic picnics and ramblings, and alarming air raids; of a spirited and outdoorsy home life and a dreaded school existence. All nearly cut horribly short by an almost fatal bout of polio when she was thirteen, which isolated Mary in hospital, away from beloved family and friends for months.

Recovery saw her turn to her one true passion – cookery. And so began a love affair that has – so far – spanned six remarkable decades; from demonstrating ovens in the early 1950s to producing glossy food magazines in the 60s and 70s, gradually becoming the country’s most prolific and – many would say – best loved cookery writer. Until her emergence in the 21st century as a TV sensation and style icon on the Great British Bake Off.

As a working mother, at the heart of a busy household, Mary became an expert at the art of juggling, even bringing her working life into her home with her Aga school. And there have been challenges, one terrible tragedy and many joys along the way.

I’ve also finished Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

This was my fourth Picoult novel and is contention for the best one.  She always manages to pick subjects that will provoke a reader’s emotions and this is no exeception, it’s brilliant.  Incredibly raw, nothing held back and extremely on point topically.  A sure fire winner!

small-great-thingsThe blurb

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?
Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family especially her teenage son as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other s trust, and come to see that what they ve been taught their whole lives about others and themselves might be wrong.

I DNF All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage unfortunately; I’d read about 70 pages or so and it wasn’t holding my interest in any way, I was bored and had no motivation to read it.  I had a look at some other reviews on Goodreads to test whether it would be worth continuing and from what I read I decided to DNF.  You can see the blurb etc on my last WWW if you’re so inclined 😉


 What’s up next?

Number 11 by Jonathan Coe

I must admit I bought this book for the cover, I had no idea what it was about until I was prepping this blog post.  Now I know, I’m not entirely sure it’s my kind of read but I’ll give it a go.

number-11The blurb

This is a novel about the hundreds of tiny connections between the public and private worlds and how they affect us all.

It’s about the legacy of war and the end of innocence.

It’s about how comedy and politics are battling it out and comedy might have won.

It’s about how 140 characters can make fools of us all.

It’s about living in a city where bankers need cinemas in their basements and others need food banks down the street.

It is Jonathan Coe doing what he does best ­ – showing us how we live now.


Have you read any of this week’s choices?

Do share what you’re reading and recommendations in the comments…

WWW Wednesday (September 7th)

WWW WednesdayThis weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

I’m reading…

Recipe for Life – The Autobiography by Mary Berry

I love Mary Berry and the Great British Bake Off and now that it’s back on our (UK) tv screens there’s no better time to be reading this.  It’s also my second non-fiction in as many months – go me! 🙂

Recipe for LifeThe blurb

From the moment she came into the world – two weeks early, throwing her parents’ lives into disarray – Mary has gracefully but firmly done things her own way.

Born in 1935, in the city of Bath, Mary’s childhood was a curious mix of idyllic picnics and ramblings, and alarming air raids; of a spirited and outdoorsy home life and a dreaded school existence. All nearly cut horribly short by an almost fatal bout of polio when she was thirteen, which isolated Mary in hospital, away from beloved family and friends for months.

Recovery saw her turn to her one true passion – cookery. And so began a love affair that has – so far – spanned six remarkable decades; from demonstrating ovens in the early 1950s to producing glossy food magazines in the 60s and 70s, gradually becoming the country’s most prolific and – many would say – best loved cookery writer. Until her emergence in the 21st century as a TV sensation and style icon on the Great British Bake Off.

As a working mother, at the heart of a busy household, Mary became an expert at the art of juggling, even bringing her working life into her home with her Aga school. And there have been challenges, one terrible tragedy and many joys along the way.


I recently finished

The Past by Tessa Hadley

This was our book club read for August and despite being well written it was thoroughly and utterly boring! Review to follow at some point.

The PastThe blurb

Four siblings meet up in their grandparents’ old house for three long, hot summer weeks. But under the idyllic surface lie shattering tensions.

Roland has come with his new wife, and his sisters don’t like her. Fran has brought her children, who soon uncover an ugly secret in a ruined cottage in the woods. Alice has invited Kasim, an outsider, who makes plans to seduce Roland’s teenage daughter. And Harriet, the eldest, finds her quiet self-possession ripped apart when passion erupts unexpectedly.

Over the course of the holiday, a familiar way of life falls apart forever.


 What’s up next?

All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage

This book was offered to me back in March by the publisher and for one reason and another I had to put it aside.  It’s quite a thick book  with small text so I wonder how long it’ll take me to get through.

All Things Cease to AppearThe blurb

Late one winter afternoon in upstate New York, George Clare comes home to find his wife murdered and their three-year-old daughter alone–for how many hours?–in her room down the hall. He had recently, begrudgingly, taken a position at the private college nearby teaching art history, and moved his family into this tight-knit, impoverished town. And he is the immediate suspect–the question of his guilt echoing in a story shot through with secrets both personal and professional. While his parents rescue him from suspicion, a persistent cop is stymied at every turn in proving Clare a heartless murderer. The pall of death is on-going, and relentless; behind one crime are others, and more than twenty years will pass before a hard kind of justice is finally served.


Have you read any of this week’s choices?

Do share what you’re reading and recommendations in the comments…